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Thoughts on living in an IRL cyberpunk dystopia?

QWERTY4

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I truly feel like we're living in a cyberpunk dystopia (but like the lesser cool version of it).

Where instead of seeing cool aesthetic neon signs and Japanese imagery from the 80s and 90s, we're seeing nothing but political correctness and internet toxicity and vitriol since everything is so interconnected on the internet.

I guess that's also why I really love vaporwave since vaporwave touches on these subjects of nostalgia, retro futurism, lost futures, etc.

For additional context, I bring this stuff up because I've been thinking a lot about certain video games that play that have these themes of a dystopia (not necessarily just cyberpunk but just in a dystopia) such as Fallout, Deus Ex, Metal Gear Solid (does that count as cyberpunk I do not know lol) and so much more that I can't seem to list this thread.

My thoughts might differ from yours but that's why I'm creating this discussion because I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on the subject.
 
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Still a Youth

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we are almost certainly living in a cyberpunk dystopia. much of the world basically lives in simulated environments, going to work, school, out to dinner, all completely hooked into social media, or some other aspect of the internet. the fact that entire elections have basically been engineered via, e.g. cambridge analytica in 2016, is tantamount to this. there's also the complete hegemony of corporatist institutions that control our society, whether it's Google or the CDC, we're being dictated by corporate entities that are deemed "persons" in an unjust legal system. Even universities suffer from the same kind of totalitarian hegemony. if you dont cowtow to particualr ideologies, then you're out of a job.
 
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Don't forget the whole censorship red guard of cancel culture. For those who don't know, allegations are made about what someone said or did and the internet outrage mob targets them and tries to remove them from their internet. The victim can apologize but it often doesn't work since internet harasses dont care about apologies and only want to be in an internet mob. Those at the heart of censorship, only have power within their limited confines. Generally if you arent listable online, you are basically untargettable. Don't forget to make fake accounts to make yourself ultra untargettable and lead them down a wrong path. Maybe the reason you are a vault dweller is because you don't find fulfillment in our current dystopia. I can fully agree, there isnt much there, and thats by design. Its all vapid horseshit.

On the topic of vapid horseshit a lot of the popular culture is disposable and meant to be thrown away. Its not particularly bad, since a lot of the popular shit is garbage to begin with. To become popular it must be easily graspable by even the dimmest bulb, so this is not an indictment against popular culture. If anything I am glad that pop culture generally stays away from the things I like. Unfortunately a side effect of this is increasingly isolated echo chambers where people surround themselves with their ideological peers. It takes effort to challenge your own beliefs and grow as a person, and it takes a mutual understanding and a mutual goal of enlightenment from all parties. Far too many people are comfortable remaining in their echo chambers, and every so often these mole people will venture out of their hovels and become triggered by everything in the real world.

An example of where discussion doesn't work is plebbit. If you are trying to discuss anything on plebbit, you have already fucked up by creating an account there and expecting the other party to behave like an intelligent entity.

I think there is still room to fall further in the cyber dystopia. For example, for the ongoing pandemic there is a clear push by techocrats and foolish politicians to force people to obtain a covid passport to prove vaccination. Instead of the state doing verification, the public is forced to become the covid police. An example of this misguided and deeply troubling authoritarian trend is the current vaccine mandates via OSHA. The little person loses in either situation. Either OSHA will be made toothless, or they lose their job, or they take a vaccine they otherwise don't want to avoid job loss. The current regimes approval rating speaks volumes of how popular the mandates are.

It is deeply troubling that the way the current regime seeks to mandate uptake is via threatening the jobs of the people by forcing them to take medication they otherwise dont want. It is a serious problem that the executive branch can sidestep the legislative branch and force private entities to goosestep via the threat of fines from regulatory agencies. You absolutely cannot force people, you MUST convince them. Doing otherwise leads the country down an exceptionally dangerous path for our democracy.
 
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Of all the various possibilities we got stuck in the most boring one. And of all the characteristics that qualify our current reality as a cyberpunk dystopia, I think it's nihlism that is the worst part. Even with nihlism, we couldn't even get a cool "If God does not exist, everything is permitted" nihlism of anarchy. Instead we got an incredibly neutered version of it where corporations, media, and even governments support people to be as degenerate as they would like to be, just so long as they follow the proper protocols.

This 4chan post I attached I think summarizes things perfectly, especially the last line: "It is all some strange mixture of the temple of Thelema administrated by one of Kafka's bureaucrats..."
 

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MorphedSnowman

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It's cyber and it is pretty bad, but there's no punk. The funny thing is that usually all the cybermedia presented it's world as a shady place, but an interesting one. You had massive blimps circling around skyscrapers displaying ads to some exotic tech. Some people making their own sci-fi tools from scraps they found. Every place looking like times square, Unusual fashion. Real world is pretty much everything looking sterile like an iphone or alexa device and being spammed constantly with ads about someone's badly drawn NFT monkey.
 
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14-27

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Here is a good series detailing in entertainment media/pop cultural terms what "cyberpunk" actually means. It covers the association with dystopias quite in depth. Entertaining, and informative. I realised that a lot of people nowadays don't even really know where this stuff all comes from. It is simply assumed to be about tech and aesthetics, but the hardcore examination of the dystopian angle common to all cyberpunk realities is often ignored by plebians.

Cyberpunk Documentary PART 1 | Neuromancer, Blade Runner, RoboCop, Akira, Shadowrun


I know nothing of this YouChoober's politics, background etc. So don't blame me if they turn out to be a closet racist brony or something.
 
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Novem_IX

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It's a cyber dystopia alright. But MorphedSnowman is right on the money, there's nothing "punk" about it.
The rapidly accelerating convergence of Big Tech, government, media, and the entertainment industry is creating a new global "culture" which feels disturbingly artificial and monotone. We are constantly being advertised a sinister vision of our future which presents itself as inevitable.
There are a lot of reasons to be pessimistic about the coming years. I think all of us here understand we are not magically going back to a "normal" state of affairs. There is a global power grab in progress which shows no signs of slowing down.
However, I'm not entirely hopeless. The powers that be are desperately trying to censor and silence all dissent, because they are afraid of a real counter culture forming. They are intelligent enough to understand that despite all their propaganda, the future they are presenting to us is...lame. The velvet fantasy is slipping off the iron fist.
More and more people are waking up to this reality. Will it be enough? Who knows. I believe we will have to go through some really hard times before any kind of meaningful opposition can emerge. It may take several years or several decades. I just hope that I live to see the pendulum begin to shift.
 
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cybercola

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Where instead of seeing cool aesthetic neon signs and Japanese imagery from the 80s and 90s, we're seeing nothing but political correctness and internet toxicity and vitriol since everything is so interconnected on the internet.
blade runner would definitely have had political correctness about replicants. in fact i thought that was the point (idk i was half asleep for most of it)
 
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Son-Of-Marcus

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I truly feel like we're living in a cyberpunk dystopia (but like the lesser cool version of it).

Where instead of seeing cool aesthetic neon signs and Japanese imagery from the 80s and 90s, we're seeing nothing but political correctness and internet toxicity and vitriol since everything is so interconnected on the internet.

I guess that's also why I really love vaporwave since vaporwave touches on these subjects of nostalgia, retro futurism, lost futures, etc.

For additional context, I bring this stuff up because I've been thinking a lot about certain video games that play that have these themes of a dystopia (not necessarily just cyberpunk but just in a dystopia) such as Fallout, Deus Ex, Metal Gear Solid (does that count as cyberpunk I do not know lol) and so much more that I can't seem to list this thread.

My thoughts might differ from yours but that's why I'm creating this discussion because I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on the subject.
We are definitely living in a cyberpunk dystopia. Well at lest we are heading to one. I would say the future is looking more like Demolition Man( regarding the politics, censorship and monopoly on violence) ,Ghost in the Shell ( regarding the relationship between man and cybernetic technologies ) and Ready Player One ( regarding Immersive Technologies and the Metaverse ). I can say that the reason we are in one already is because if you look at the definition of cyberpunk, it is "High Tech ,Low Life". Look at our world now based on that definition we are in one already.

655372.jpg
 
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brentw

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Everyone always just thinks of Fahrenheit 451 being about book burning. but there's so much more to it than that.
And it's those underappreciated parts that really reflect the direction we're taking today.

Fahrenheit 451 is about a society of people who responded to the unprecedented interconnectivity brought to their lives by technology by getting offended by the things they saw and demanding their feelings be protected. The only way to ensure that no-one was offended was that everything be sterilized and censored, replaced with a constant stream of bland and inoffensive drivel and propaganda.

That's the thing about Fahrenheit 451 everyone always forgets. The people demanded their own censorship and oppression.
 
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Jared

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Needless to say I don't like cyberpunk dystopias but I think they're cool writing ideas, No doubt ill be writing about one soon.
 
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NW_Cryptid

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I think we're in it, but I think we're still in the early stages. Fingers are being pointed a lot at this or that being "the problem" but I think it's a lot wider than that. Admittedly I'm high as hell right now and can't properly explain my world views and thoughts while under the effects of the ol' devil's lettuce. However what I mean to say is that my general thoughts are that the takeover is slow, if it happened too quickly I feel like people would fight it, and I think those trying to push for it are aware of that. On one hand sure, people are glued to their social media and influencers; and if some such influencers were trying to push a sort of takeover it likely would actually go well as I assume most wouldn't second guess their favorite influencers, especially considering so many target younger children who don't fully understand the sort of commitments and agreements their making. However I feel like it would eventually be stopped by the older generation the second anything was found to be "wrong" with it. That's what they're still scared of, or at least that's how I see it. If it happens slowly no one will really notice, they'll be too distracted with everything else going on, the pandemic, the social media escapism, hell even TV shows have people distracted to the problems of the world. Once we see the older generation become too old and isolated to stop them, and the younger generation so easily malleable; that's the ideal point for the takeover. It's easy to usher in a generation of mindless drones when they're being raised to consume without question. Parasocial relationships are strong enough to make people give money hand over foot, the very thing we suffer for all day; just to see their favorite "creators" shout them out or give them 2 seconds of attention, how long until they're told to do something drastic, and listen without question. How long until they're influenced to carry out unspeakable acts and they feel justified in it because they have this one sided loyalty to an influencer, a brand, or even an imaginary person like an easily marketed character who's ideals and ideology will be pushed on the new generation.
 
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